That’s No Elephant, That’s a Giant Dung Beetle

I was furious about this particulary disgraceful legislative dung-rolling last December, and now the Boston Globe has a mealy-mouthed “bipartisan” front page article explaining how one side’s crazy opportunists have made themselves both sides’ problem:

WASHINGTON — It had been 16 years since Bob Dole stepped down as Senate Republican leader, ending a legislative career in which he earned a reputation as a master of bipartisanship. Yet there he was at the end of 2012, trying to close a deal.

Dole was 89 years old, just out of the hospital, working the phones to win senators’ support. Then, in a dramatic effort, he rolled in his wheelchair onto the Senate floor, all but daring senators to vote against him and, by proxy, anyone with a disability.

It was a moment Dole had long awaited. He had brought the parties together to pass his greatest piece of legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which required the retrofitting of buildings and sidewalks and provided an array of other rights.

Now he wanted the Senate to approve an international treaty that would spur other nations to pass their version of the law, making the United States a role model to help tens of millions of people around the world….

The treaty’s defeat on Dec. 4, 2012, was a defining moment for the Senate, even if it received far less notice than crises such as the fiscal cliff….

Highlighting one particular dung beetle in human form:

… To get to the office of Michael Farris, a visitor drives about an hour from Washington to arrive at the town of Purcellville, population 8,043, a mix of old-world Virginia and strip mall suburbia. It is here in the Appalachian foothills that Farris more than a decade ago established Patrick Henry College, a Christian liberal arts institution with 300 students. It also serves as headquarters for his political power base, the Home School Legal Defense Fund…

Farris has a history of run-ins with moderate Republicans. A father of 10, he was defeated in his 1993 bid to be lieutenant governor of Virginia after one of Dole’s closest colleagues, then-Senator John Warner of Virginia, took the unusual step of declining to endorse him. Since then, Farris has used his home-schooling organization to take on moderates that he says are ruining the GOP.

“There are two parties in Washington,” Farris said. There is “the evil party,” meaning Democrats, and “the stupid party,” referring to many Republicans, he said.

Unlike some Republicans who say the party should moderate its positions in the aftermath of losses in the 2012 campaign, Farris said the opposite approach is the best prescription. What Republicans need to do, he said, is listen to grass-roots members whose primary concern is liberty and sovereignty. That is why he seized upon the disabilities treaty. He saw it as an attack on American ideals and values.

And he saw something else. It is, he said, the ideal “wedge issue” for future political campaigns….

I’m gonna repeat myself: Decent Democrats during the later two-thirds of the twentieth century were forever being embarrassed by the Boll Weevil Democrats. Those pests have been replaced by Dung Beetle Republicans. Some of them are crazy, and some of them are trying to use that crazy for their own malign ends, and every single one of them is a public disgrace.

Unpleasant as it is to contemplate, for a lot of traditional Republicans, 2016 is going to be Rick Santorum’s “turn” to lead the GOP ticket. And if you don’t think Michael Farris and his mailing list are going to be all over Sanctorum’s platform like dung beetles on a particularly fragrant elephant turd… well, you may not have been paying enough attention.

42 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Decent Democrats during the later two-thirds of the twentieth century were forever being embarrassed by the Boll Weevil Democrats.

    I would never go back to that era, but I can’t help wonder if in some ways there were certain benefits to the nation when the crazy was divided between the parties.

  2. 2
    Hunter Gathers says:

    You forgot to mention what a giant prick Rick Santorum is. Any conversation involving Rick Santorum should mention that fact.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    bleh says:

    Well, be as furious as you like, but without action — which requires money — fury is little more than a precursor to cancer.

    — The media want money, ie advertisers. To get them, they must not offend any potential readers. Ergo, the false even-handedness. Do not expect the Globe — or any other paper or mass medium, or any cable show or blog not targeted at a narrow audience — to do any differently. (If you do, see above regarding fury.)

    — The politicians want money, ie contributions. To get them, they will ally with — or at least not offend — the most odious elements of our society. If that means stiffing Bob Dole, once the presidential standard-bearer of the Republican Party and a badly wounded WWII veteran who fought his way back and attained amazing success (can’t argue with that, as much as I disagree with his politics), then they will do that in a heartbeat.

    — The interest groups want money. The NRA wants to sell guns, and if their pursuit of profit results in thousands of American adolescents dying needlessly every year, so be it. The insurance industry wants to deny payments, and if their pursuit of profit results in millions of Americans receiving substandard care — and even dying — every year, so be it. “If a corporation really were a person, it would be a sociopath.”

    Be furious, fine, but channel it. Raise money, and spend it with a purpose. “Follow the money,” and aim at your target’s purse. That’s how to hurt ’em.

  5. 5
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    The better term is Dick-headed Republicans or A-hole Republicans. That is what is going to kill them long before the demographic time bomb.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hunter Gathers: She said Rick Santorum. No need to be redundant.

  7. 7
    danielx says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    This is true. One of the front pagers said the other day that this whole RNC postmortem report is really unnecessary, because the Republicans’ real problem is that they’re assholes. If they’d stop acting like assholes, they’d get more votes.

    But alas…to expect them to stop being assholes is like expecting a shark to quit eating. They can’t stop, it’s part of their DNA at this point.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    Ben Franklin will soon post a comment saying that article means nothing..

  9. 9
  10. 10
    KG says:

    @Baud: definitely served a purpose having the crazy split because the two sane portions of the parties could actually do things that were bipartisan. With the crazy concentrated in one party, which something resembling a controlling interest, it makes it a helluva lot harder to get shit done.

  11. 11
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @JPL: this is actually all Obama’s fault, of course. Duh.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Damn. She was one of the Dems I thought might not be able to stomach it, given her state. Good for her.

    Obligatory: there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the parties.

  13. 13
    geg6 says:

    @JPL:

    Heh indeedy.

  14. 14
    Todd says:

    @JPL:

    Ben Franklin will soon post a comment saying that article means nothing..

    …together with an exhortation to vote GOP to teach the Dems a lesson.

  15. 15
    Yutsano says:

    @Southern Beale: I think a pig just went over my head going into Sea-Tac. Wow…

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: I figured she would end up on the right side of the issue – after some public Hamletting for her less advanced constituents. But good for her.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Holy shit, she also has a kind of neat looking tumblr account.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @geg6: how’s koda..
    I figured the new site got rid of animals..

  19. 19
    Cacti says:

    After Bob Dole slimed John Kerry’s service record and defended the Swiftboaters, I can’t say much besides…

    Fuck Bob Dole.

  20. 20
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Valdivia

    Did you survive your toe dressing today?

    I believe it was you who recommended Top of The Lake
    the other night? I’ve been watching the first two episodes tonight and liking it a lot. Elizabeth Moss! (Peggy in Mad Men) and Holly Hunter! And tomorrow night is episode three.

    Couldn’t wait for an open thread to tell you this. Thanks!

  21. 21
    Maxwel says:

    I hope this asshole lives to see the end of the rethugs.

  22. 22
    NotMax says:

    Dung beetles get a bad rap.

    Unfortunate, as they richly deserve it.

    As for the GOP mascot, replacing the elephant with the lemming remains my pick.

  23. 23
    Suffern ACE says:

    @NotMax: are you saying that the dung beetle analogy is a load of crap?

  24. 24
    xjmueller says:

    Purcellville VA makes the front page of BJ; this can’t be good. It really is a nice little town, if a tad conservative.

    The dung beetle comparison is very apt. Farris has also managed to influence the local county board, to our detriment. He promotes a quack “special treatment” for Lyme disease, as chronicled in a local blog

    Needless to say, the science is questionable. He has a college full of student wingnuts, so I expect to see a ground game out here for Rick the dick come 2016. Yet another reason to not answer the door.

  25. 25
    amk says:

    @danielx:

    If they’d stop acting like assholes, they’d get more votes.

    They’re just a reflection of the other half of the america. So, nope, they won’t.

  26. 26
    raven says:

    Down 3 at the half to the mighty Canes!!!!!!!

  27. 27
    Ted & Hellen says:

    ROCK CHALK JAYHAWKS

  28. 28
    srv says:

    The treaty’s defeat on Dec. 4, 2012, was a defining moment for the Senate, even if it received far less notice than crises such as the fiscal cliff….

    One of the greatest achievements of the Republican Party, presuming you value Jeff Goldstein’s opinion.

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    @JPL:

    She’s laying down beside me, chilled after a big day of meeting her uncle Gary (John’s brother) and her sister Kaitlin (John’s daughter) and her fiancé. And riding along on a grocery run. And playing catch with her stuffed bee. And learning what pisses Otis off (stealing his treat and drinking his water are top of the list). Otis has taken to using his bulk to shove her out of his way since he’s fatter and slower and older than she. We’re going to give a shot at not putting her in her crate tonight and see if that works out. In general, the doggies are getting along amazingly well. Not perfect but that will take time. So far, so good. Got some new pics I’ll send AL if she wants to post them. If not, ask AL for my email (don’t want to post it here for fear of trolls) and I’ll give you my FB page where all pics will be posted.

  30. 30
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:

    So say we all.

    I can’t think of any so called “moderate” Republican who when push came to shove didn’t side with the rest of that stinking proto fascist crowd. Not McCain, not Dole… Actual moderate Republicans, even if they’ve been a minority since forever, are the faction that’s gone completely missing from our politics in this day and age.

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @geg6: Remember you can post pic from flikr with a blind url.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    geg6 says:

    @raven:

    You’re probably right but I am unfamiliar with flickr, says the tech idiot. I barely can use FB.

  34. 34
    Chris says:

    @NotMax:

    Which wing of the party are we talking about?

    For the Wall Street faction, the correct animal is of course the vulture. For the “moderate” faction, the ostrich. For the Fox News noise machine faction, the parrot. Hmm, I don’t want to overrepresent birds, so, for the social conservatives… the hyena? Given their penchant for hysterics without cause, it seems to fit. For the neocons, the lion – the animal that roars and sleeps and leaves all the actual sweaty, bloody work for his underlings (the lionesses). For the Paultards, the dinosaur (pick one, it doesn’t matter).

    And for the regular voter, of course, the lemming, just like you said.

  35. 35
    PurpleGirl says:

    @raven: I’d bet that that soft, silky hair would make a great yarn. Of course, you’d have to wait for a few shearings to get as much hair as possible to spin. The yarn would be smashing.

  36. 36
    Anne Laurie says:

    @geg6:

    Got some new pics I’ll send AL if she wants to post them. If not, ask AL for my email (don’t want to post it here for fear of trolls) and I’ll give you my FB page where all pics will be posted.

    Of course I’ll post more pics; I am all about the Readership Capture! :) Send ’em along & I can do another post tomorrow, for people who don’t get to read BJ on the weekend.

  37. 37
    Yutsano says:

    @Anne Laurie: YAY!! MOAR KODAPUPPEH!!

  38. 38
    cokane says:

    santorum is the odds-on favorite in my opinion.

    he proved himself a decent campaigner last time. he’ll have strong name recognition in the early states. he’s establishing a strong brand among rank-and-file. he can run as a washington outsider.

    maybe after an embarassing defeat where santorum loses states like north carolina and georgia, get blown out in the swing states like florida, maybe then you’ll see this party start to moderate. maybe

  39. 39
    DavidTC says:

    @KG:
    With the crazy concentrated in one party, which something resembling a controlling interest, it makes it a helluva lot harder to get shit done.

    I don’t think the crazy has an _actual_ controlling interest of the party, but they do appear to have controlling interest of the _election process_ for Republicans. So any non-crazy-appearing Republican is quickly removed.

    Luckily for us, the crazy Republican voters cannot stop eating their own.

    Regardless of how crazy the sane Republican pretend to be, at some point each of them will balk at eating homeless people or failing to advocate the reintroduction of slavery or whatever, at some point they will be destroyed by their own party. And then, the crazy Republican put forward to replace them will be shot down by the public who says ‘WTF?’.

    And, at this point, the public has started cluing into the fact that a lot of Republicans _are_ crazy, and has started asking the ‘are you crazy or not?’ questions of current Republicans, which is a really good way to have them kicked out of office by sane people if they answer crazily, or kicked out of the party by crazy people if they answer sanely.

    So everything is looking awesome for us on the left. The only problem is that, over the next decade while the Republicans eat themselves alive, we’re going to get an influx of sane conservatives as Democrats. But perhaps we should see this as a opportunity to change their minds about many things, instead of them growing up, politically, in the weirdly toxic environment of the Republicans. (In which ‘conservative’ is defined, cargo-cult-like, by whatever the stockholders of the party want.)

    And then later, after the Republicans melt down and the sane conservatives in both parties defect to whatever new party replaces them, or the Republican are rebuilt and the conserva-Dem defect to it, half of the people there will be ‘conservative’ by trying to protect American Jobs from offshoring and being isolationist militarily and whatever. (You know, things that in a sane political universe would be a _conservative_ position.)

  40. 40
    feckless says:

    Farris is terrified that someone will uncover the rampant pedophiles hiding behind homeschooling

  41. 41
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    “Dung Beetle Republicans”

    Dung Beetles roll dung into a ball to provide a nursery to their young. The male prepares the dungball, which shows that they’re wimpy liberal males brainwashed by feminazi female beetles into doing most of the childcare instead of the females accepting their proper role. Male and female beetles often wait near the dungball until the offspring mature, which obviously shows their belief in universal childcare and makes them dangerous socialists. They perform a valuable ecological service by breaking up an burying dung, which would make then radical tree-huggers to Republicans.

    And, as sacred symbols of rebirth in Egyptian mythology, they’d be too pagan for the American Taliban.

    Also, in Aesop’s fables, a Dung Beetle takes vindictive revenge on an eagle who killed a rabbit friend of his, even throwing dung at Zeus who was protecting the eagle’s eggs.

    Don’t dis dung beetles. They don’t deserve to be compared to southern conservative Republicans.

  42. 42

    Unpleasant as it is to contemplate, for a lot of traditional Republicans, 2016 is going to be Rick Santorum’s “turn” to lead the GOP ticket.

    Nah, in 2016, like 2000, it’s not going to be anyone‘s ‘turn’. A number of conservative Republicans may be disappointed by that, but the party, including most of the fundies, will be looking for a new face to put on the old garbage.

    My guess is that Rubio will be the pick of the plenty-conservative-but-pretending-to-be-reasonable Republicans, while the totally out-to-lunch crowd will rally behind someone like Ted Cruz or Scott Walker. But there’s plenty of time for it to turn out to be someone different representing each group.

    The candidate of the PCBPTBR Republicans, whoever he (definitely a he) is, will win the nomination.

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